The bottle is a meh bottle. It has the mass produced look and feel that has taken over most of Sam Adam’s beer designs, though I do like the coloring on the banner that declares “Summer Ale.” Part of my dislike of the style might come from me growing up in New England with the rise of Samuel Adams brewery. They’ve done great things for the craft brew world, and brought plenty of different styles to a larger market, but they aren’t really a craft brewery any more by my measure. They definitely still make craft brews, and they make them quite well, but they just are really a mass brewery anymore.
I would like the bottle more I think if the Samuel Adams name were smaller and the cool sailboat painting in the background were brought to the forefront. Also, their choice to play up the blue coloring and play down the yellows this year I think is too bad, because yellow is far more descriptive of the beer itself, and of the summer season when it is supposed to be sipped. I wouldn’t keep this bottle on a shelf; too many barcodes and warnings and what-not.
The beer, however, pours a piss yellow with some orange flame towards the middle of the glass and thin frothy Styrofoam white that bubbles like nothing, and dissipates pretty quickly leaving edged up light lacing that really doesn’t last either and fades away to a clean glass edge. The smell is light and wheat-like with some nice spicy notes that almost remind of oregano, but must be the grains of paradise. The citrus layers-in throughout the smell as well.
The beer tastes similar to the smell. It’s a little thicker with its wheat taste, but the spices play nicely on the sides of the tongue, again drawing to mind the grains of a paradise flavor and some citrusy sides. There are definitely some other spicy notes present that suggest that the yeast did some nice things to the flavor, but they are faint beside the citrus, wheat, and grains of paradise. This beer is very smooth on the tongue, but a little thin and watery over all. Carbonation is a little coarse and bubbly on the tongue, but overall quite nice. There is also a slight jelly-like feel that is left on the tongue after the beer washes through. The after feel of the mouth is actually quite nicely refreshed and wetted, which is very nice. Overall this is a decent summer wheat ale. I definitely like it more than Smuttynose’s Summer Weizen, which is the only other summer wheat ale I have really had this summer. Not my favorite beer, but not terrible either. I would have it again. A great cheaper price for decent beer.